Death of Assault Victim Has DA Seeking Murder Charge
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire district attorney intends to seek a murder charge indictment against a North Adams man who has been held by authorities since the brutal beating of his wife five months ago.
Charli Cook, 41, died at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield on Sunday, Dec. 1. She'd been hospitalized there since July 11 after what authorities say was a brutal attack by her husband, Michael Cook Sr., at their Chase Avenue home.
Michael Cook, then 42 years old, was arraigned in Northern Berkshire District Court on single counts of assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, and assault and battery on a family or household member.
With his wife's death on Sunday, District Attorney Andrea Harrington said she will seek a murder charge against Cook.
"I send my condolences to Charli Cook's family and friends," she said in a statement. "The investigators, prosecutors, and victim advocates who have been working on this case were heartbroken by her passing. We are determined to obtain justice for Charli."
Michael Cook has been held without bail at the Berkshire County House of Correction after being determined a danger to the community.
When police responded to the call on July 11, they found Charli Cook unresponsive and bleeding from a large wound on the back of her head. She was taken to Baystate for surgery and had been placed in a coma. She suffered a skull fracture.
The police report filed with initial charges say Cook admitted to the crime on the scene saying,"I just snapped for a minute."
According to court records, Cook has a long history of domestic violence and sexual assault, including a conviction for child rape. In 2015, he was charged with assault and battery after allegedly assaulting his wife. That case was dismissed. In 2016, his wife had filed for a restraining order against him, claiming he assaulted her multiple times and mentally abused her.